Religion is “a set of cultural belief systems, and worldview that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and moral values”. Religious teachings are meant to liberate individuals from within so that they can achieve happiness and peace in their lives. Consequently, religion is an integral aspect of the social system that can play a positive role in underdeveloped countries. The positive roles of religion in undeveloped countries include the following. Religion serves as a formidable system of social control. Religious teachings focus on promoting peaceful coexistence. Thus, religion can help in establishing social order in undeveloped countries where the legal systems have failed to bring about peace.
Religion also plays an important role in the socialization process by helping the society to formulate and internalize social norms. Religion reinforces social norms that promote morality and integrity in the society. Thus, it enables individuals to avoid deviant behaviors by setting high personal expectations, and striving to achieve them through legitimate means. In the context of undeveloped countries, religion can serve as a means of alleviating social injustices such as corruption, inequality and crime. It can serve as a source of inspiration, especially, to the youth in order to achieve personal goals.
Religion encourages members of the community to show concern for one another through spiritual, emotional and material support. In undeveloped countries, poverty, inequality, and diseases are rampant. By upholding religious teachings, citizens of undeveloped countries can help their unprivileged lot to improve their socio-economic status. This can be achieved through widespread participation in civic programs such as charity, and providing health care and education to the needy.
Religion is a source of hope for a better tomorrow. Many citizens in undeveloped countries tend to give up due to the difficulties they face in life. Religion can, thus, help citizens in undeveloped countries to find a new meaning in life, and face their plight courageously. Religious people believe in a supreme being who is capable of helping them in all circumstances.
Even though religion is meant to enhance peace and prosperity in the society, it can also be a source of misery. Historical evidence reveals that religion has always been a source of conflict and war among communities that can not tolerate opposing religious ideologies. In this regard, religion can worsen the situation in undeveloped countries through loss of life and property. Thus, undeveloped countries must encourage their citizens to tolerate religious beliefs of their colleagues in order to reap the fruits of religion.